Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 4th Sep 2011 15:48 UTC
Legal "Secret U.S. government cables show a stunning willingness by senior Canadian officials to appease American demands (more here) for a U.S.-style copyright law here. The documents describe Canadian officials as encouraging American lobbying efforts. They also cite cabinet minister Maxime Bernier raising the possibility of showing U.S. officials a draft bill before tabling it in Parliament. The cables, from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, even have a policy director for then industry minister Tony Clement suggesting it might help U.S. demands for a tough copyright law if Canada were placed among the worst offenders on an international piracy watch list. Days later, the U.S. placed Canada alongside China and Russia on the list." Unbelievable. Suddenly I understand why the SFPD had no qualms about acting as henchmen for Apple goons to violate someone's constitutional rights. If a government is messed up, it only makes sense this is reflected in the corporate policies of its prime corporations.
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Really?
by judgen on Sun 4th Sep 2011 16:39 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

To be honest i am not surprised by this. The US excert som political pressure over in Canada in many other fields as well.

Reply Score: 4

v I am not a fan of the DMCA
by jefro on Sun 4th Sep 2011 16:42 UTC
RE: I am not a fan of the DMCA
by Alfman on Sun 4th Sep 2011 17:21 UTC in reply to "I am not a fan of the DMCA"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

jefro,

You are mixing up two different concepts: theft and copying. We just went over this in another thread.

Reply Score: 8

RE: I am not a fan of the DMCA
by rr7.num7 on Sun 4th Sep 2011 17:40 UTC in reply to "I am not a fan of the DMCA"
rr7.num7 Member since:
2010-04-30

Sorry, but it's not stealing. I don't agree with copyright infringement, but saying that it is stealing is simply wrong. When people copy a cd, they are not taking away the original. And spare me the "but they're taking away the opportunity of a sale" nonsense, because by that reasoning we might as well call it murder. The arguement would be that "they are killing a potential sale" or "piracy is killing the music industry".

So, let's be rational and call things by their right names.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: I am not a fan of the DMCA
by Alfman on Sun 4th Sep 2011 18:20 UTC in reply to "RE: I am not a fan of the DMCA"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

rr7.num7,

"Sorry, but it's not stealing. I don't agree with copyright infringement"

I concur with your post.

However I have a tangential question for you and others:

While copying is wrong in our society, do you believe it needs to be wrong in all societies?

In theory, social norms and laws could simply entitle the public to copy works as a fundamental right. Would those who've grown up against this backdrop be at a real loss compared to us? (note I'm deliberately avoiding the topic of migrating from a copyright society to a non-copyright one).

Would there still be artists?
I think so, even if not the ones who do it for money only.

Would there still be performers?
I think it would probably encourage even more live performances than today, and people would be willing to spend more to see them.

Would there still be films?
Well, it'd certainly change hollywood business models to say the least, but I believe independent film makers would still be around because they enjoy it - there would still be movie stars.


There are a lot more questions...but I'm just soliciting input on the "information wants to be free" philosophy.

Reply Score: 4

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'll bite.

While copying is wrong in our society, do you believe it needs to be wrong in all societies?


It's only wrong in our society because our society (speaking of the world in general) is obsessed with the procurement of wealth and power. If something comes along to threaten that, it is quickly struck down by those with vested interests, including our own government here in the U.S.

You may be saying, "But the U.S. government doesn't make creative works so why does it care?" It cares because the vast majority of the flawed humans who make up our government are having their pockets lined by the entertainment and software industries' lobbyists. Follow the money and you'll find the path to the ever-dwindling rights of the people regarding copyright and patents.


Would there still be artists?


Definitely! There are varying opinions on what is considered art and who is considered an artist these days, but the ones who started doing it for the love of the craft will continue. They may have to work day jobs, but they will still create for self-fulfillment. Speaking strictly of music, the superstar acts that you see on the top 40 music charts are but a tiny fraction of the musical talent out there. The biggest chunk of musicians and bands out there are independent acts or were until recently, and most of those live a hard but fulfilling life of writing, recording and touring year round. They do it because it is who they are.


Would there still be performers?


Yes, see above. Live performance would be the primary means of income for performing artists, just as it was before the phonograph was invented.


Would there still be films?


Yes. Keep in mind the very first filmmakers were independent because there was no movie industry. Take away the industry we have now, and you will still have the creative visionaries, only constrained by budget. And some of the best films ever put to celluloid (or hard drive, as the case may be) did it on a shoestring budget.



At heart, I'm in the "information wants to be free" crowd, but I'm also realistic. The state of things today is what we as a society have allowed it to be. If we want change, change will happen regardless of governments and industry interests. But it's going to take another generation or two, I think.

Reply Score: 8

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Morgan,

Both sides have merit. We're all very familiar with what copyright has to offer, but I am genuinely curious what a non-copyright society would turn into. It is despicable that the US is actively impeding alternative socioeconomic systems in the world. I want the world to have more diversity, not less.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

There are a lot more questions...but I'm just soliciting input on the "information wants to be free" philosophy.


It's not really about 'information wants to be free', as much as it is you have this content out there that's infinitely reproducible and instantly transportable, and then you have people telling you not to copy it. Well, guess what? Whether right or wrong, if it can be copied, it WILL be copied. You can scream and whine about it all you want, try to sue people or get laws passed to try and curtail it, but it doesn't change the fundamental fact that there's absolutely NOTHING you can do to prevent copying.

In terms of digital content, the traditional economics of supply and demand really doesn't work here, because as long as a digital good exists, the supply is always infinite. And if we're going to figure out how to make this fit into traditional economics (or change traditional economics to fit this new reality), we'd better do it while the goods are still digital, before somebody invents a gadget that allows us to reproduce physical objects, and turns this economy on its ass. I mean, if we could reproduce a car instantly for $0, how many people do you think would still buy one? Answer: Not many.

Edited 2011-09-05 02:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"It's not really about 'information wants to be free', as much as it is you have this content out there that's infinitely reproducible and instantly transportable..."

I completely agree that from a natural point of view, the supply of copies is infinite and therefor the natural value of copies approaches zero; it's only the artificial limits imposed by copyright law which makes copies valuable.

However I'm not sure if you got that I was differentiating between social views of copying, not technological ones.

"before somebody invents a gadget that allows us to reproduce physical objects, and turns this economy on its ass. I mean, if we could reproduce a car instantly for $0, how many people do you think would still buy one? Answer: Not many."

If a car could be produced instantly for $0, than the underlying *value* of the car approaches $0. This is an exaggeration for physical goods which are inherently scarce.

Reply Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I don't think the big movie spectacles like LOTR or Avatar or things like that would be produced. I don't think the high quality TV shows like Breaking Bad or Mad Men would be produced in your world.

Now, if you're satisfied with small films produced in people's garages or TV shows that are akin to amatuer YouTube videos or whatever, then fine, allow rampant copying. But I LIKE the big movies the big spectacles that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce. I like the high quality TV shows that cost big money to make. And yes, I like the music produced by well-known artists over the decades (as much as such music is derided by the artsy-fartsy crowd, most of the "indy" music that hey push is forgettable garbage). And while I don't play video games like I did when I was younger, I like the big budget video games like Halo and the like; I wouldn't want the video game industry to be stuck with Angry Birds or Tetris (as fun as games like that may be, that is the only kind of game we would get in a non-copyright world).

Big budget movies, TV, software, video games would not be produced if there is no chance for decent "return on investment". We'd be stuck with small budget stuff. Ther's a place for those, but there's a place for the big budget stuff too.

I don't belive in the "starving artist" doctrine either. There's nothing wrong with artists/creators making money. They shouldn't have to starve or live by begging rich patrons to pay for private performances or whatever. We had a patronage system in the past - only the rich could afford to be patrons and only the rich enjoyed the arts produced, and there wasn't nearly as much art produced back then either. That time is of the past, and good riddance.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

MollyC,

I appreciate and respect your opinion.

"only the rich could afford to be patrons and only the rich enjoyed the arts produced, and there wasn't nearly as much art produced back then either. That time is of the past, and good riddance."

I believe this part of your argument is flawed though because earlier times didn't get to benefit from mass reproduction technology. In addition, the cost and effort of producing original works has gone way down (anyone write a book on typeset press lately?) - I think that has much more to do with the increased production than copyright law.

Reply Score: 3

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

MollyC:

I think you are wrong. I think Avatar would have been made even with changes to copyright. Here's why: Avatar made more money at the box office than any other movie ever, pulling in $760 million. Most copying happens after media release. (except for crappy theater cam versions) Even if you don't release to video, the movie was still hugely profitable. Now, the dynamic would be different. But at the end of the day, even without copyright, hollywood for the most part would be ok. They make money off of live performances and rebroadcasts. Since they control those outlets totally, there is no problem. Even if they did release dvds, enough people would pay to still make it profitable. Most people who pay do so because they want to own a copy, otherwise they would just rent.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: I am not a fan of the DMCA
by cfgr on Mon 5th Sep 2011 18:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I am not a fan of the DMCA"
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Even if they did release dvds, enough people would pay to still make it profitable. Most people who pay do so because they want to own a copy, otherwise they would just rent.


I think you're a bit naive there.

You often hear people saying "the entertainment industry is a dinosaur, they should change their business model or go extinct."

Well, that's true. The industry is changing their model, toward a streaming/cloud/online account/DRM based model where you no longer own anything, pay monthly and are entirely at mercy of the company holding your account. Violate the TOS and lose your games/songs/movies. This is what happens when neither side respects the spirit of copyrights any more.

Copyrights basically said that one copy = one item. If you buy it, you own it. Now you pay for a service and own nothing. Both greedy pirates and greedy companies have pushed everyone in that direction.

The victims here are those who actually pay for their copies and want to keep them as their own. The same people you described.

(The original) copyright is a good thing, abusing it in one way or the other is not.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: I am not a fan of the DMCA
by zima on Sun 11th Sep 2011 23:31 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I am not a fan of the DMCA"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think cessation / non-emergence of recent easy copyright infringement (on the consumer side) would influence in any way the other side, and their established disrespect to (the original) copyright; a disrespect evident by already long campaign to expand protection terms to the point of absurdity...

As to the victims - research suggest that the group of "pirates" overlaps with the group of most active paying customers.

Reply Score: 1

quarkvanlepton Member since:
2008-03-08

But I LIKE the big movies the big spectacles that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce. I like the high quality TV shows that cost big money to make. And yes, I like the music produced by well-known artists over the decades (as much as such music is derided by the artsy-fartsy crowd, most of the "indy" music that hey push is forgettable garbage). And while I don't play video games like I did when I was younger, I like the big budget video games like Halo and the like; I wouldn't want the video game industry to be stuck with Angry Birds or Tetris (as fun as games like that may be, that is the only kind of game we would get in a non-copyright world).


I also honestly wish the world would turn around my likes and dislikes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I am not a fan of the DMCA
by zima on Sun 11th Sep 2011 23:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I am not a fan of the DMCA"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The entities behind big budget films control the distribution channels through which they get most profits, they assure initial scarcity of high quality experience; it wouldn't make that much of a difference to them. Similar with TV shows.

Plus, the costs are often very superfluous ( http://eugenia.queru.com/2011/06/02/oh-come-on-george/ & http://eugenia.queru.com/2011/04/15/celebral-hard-sci-fi-and-realis... & http://eugenia.queru.com/2011/04/08/filmmaking-outsource-it/ ).
When watching "Monsters" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsters_(2010_film) ), already a cult classic, you probably wouldn't guess it cost less than 500k ...and it certainly isn't "akin to amatuer YouTube videos or whatever"[sic]. Yes, it does require talent - but isn't that what we want to promote?

Most of "well-known artists" music is crap, too; you remember the good examples best.
Heck, most of everything is crap, that's just the way it is.

We did get games of types other than Angry Birds or Tetris (hm, yes, the most popular game of all time...) from ~"non-copyright" environments (and we would certainly get something different, probably "more", if the whole world would be in that direction)

Roguelikes for example - when run with some of the graphical interfaces available, they essentially are Diablo ( http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_48/289-S... "[The idea for Diablo] was modified over and over until it solidified when [Dave Brevik] was in college and got hooked on … Moria/Angband."; http://www.pcworld.com/article/158850/the_ten_greatest_pc_games_eve... Rogue #6 in "Ten Greatest PC Game Ever" by PC World, 2009; http://archive.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/01/27/nethack/ (open via Internet Archive; archive.org link gets fubared by OSNews comment system) Salon about NetHack: "The best game ever", "one of the finest gaming experiences the computing world has to offer.")

Or MUDs - slap a GUI on top, get a MMORPG (with Crossfire multiplayer online RPG being an obvious intermediate stage). Generally, the whole phenomena of free to play MMOGs, which are offered as a service. Or "indy" / "academic" games of their era becoming the later mainstream, what pushes us forward (say, Netrek, with an impressive mileage already and "pioneered many technologies used in later games, and has been cited as prior art in patent disputes"); most of the big budget ones seemingly just among passing fads...


Most artists struggle as is anyway, so copyright world isn't very helpful to them in any event.
(and don't rewrite history; an explosion of artistic activity seems to have happened when the world became "smaller" and more urban over few short centuries; one is happening now, when the world becomes even smaller via the web; connection with gradual copyrights introduction in various countries - or, especially, rates of enforcement in a given place vs. its artistic output - doesn't seem so clear)

Edited 2011-09-11 23:18 UTC

Reply Score: 1

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The answer is already known from history.

There would be far more artists and musicians working (mostly part-time). However the majority wouldn't earn any more than a modest wage. A very small number would be multi-millionaires. None would be super wealthy.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I am not a fan of the DMCA
by ssokolow on Sun 4th Sep 2011 17:41 UTC in reply to "I am not a fan of the DMCA"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Saying that I also don't care for people who steal. I don't care if it is a candy, a pen, or a grape off the store counter or an apple in a field. It is all stealing to me. How can any so call civilized person think that stealing movies and music is any way to live. I guess some people just get wrapped up in theft and they can't help themselves.

Learn to say this more often. "Bad angel get off of my shoulder." Cause that is what seems to be driving the want for stolen movies and music and software.


I don't want to start another big debate, but in case anyone new wanders in, the general argument made by people who aren't just in a frenzy of downloading is as follows:

- Theft deprives the original owner of a thing they already had
- Copyright infringement leaves their ownership intact and gives them an excuse to whine that every download must have been a lost sale (rather than potential word-of-mouth advertising as some people see it)
- Piracy is theft and murder on the high seas.

Again, I'm NOT looking to start a debate. I've got better things to do.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: I am not a fan of the DMCA
by Lennie on Mon 5th Sep 2011 10:28 UTC in reply to "RE: I am not a fan of the DMCA"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Here are some numbers from people who have done the research.

Do you remember the poeple from HADOPI ? Does are the people that worked on getting the 'three strikes out, you do not get any internet access anymore'-policy implemented in France. That is where these numbers come from.

Here is a Dutch article that describes/analyzes the numbers from the research of HADOPI where I got my information from:

https://www.bof.nl/2011/08/08/het-ultieme-bewijs-downloaders-zijn-be...

Here are is the result:

People that download more/the most from an 'illegal source' are the same people that spend more/the most money on movies and music.

What does this probably mean ? People who have a real interrest in music/movies download have no problem paying for their music/movies, but if the music/movie industry does not provide them with the service they need, they will get it somewhere else.

This could for example mean people want to copy cassettes, cd's and mp3 from other people to sample things.

When they like it, they will buy the real CD (possibly because they downloaded quality might not have been as good) and go to a concert.

Or they want to watch a TV-series that is only available on TV in the US and they are in a country where Netflix or similair is not offered. They will use P2P to download it instead.

And so on and so on...

Reply Score: 3

RE: I am not a fan of the DMCA
by zima on Sun 4th Sep 2011 18:01 UTC in reply to "I am not a fan of the DMCA"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Fine, but don't forget to mention how the DMCA (etc.) are the tools of a massive campaign to steal from us.

Copyright was supposed to be a "we, the society, will grant you a limited, temporary protection, to encourage your activity of making works derivative of our culture, and to make you not fearful of broad distribution; in exchange, your derivatives will be assured to go into public domain after a reasonable delay, to become part of our greater cultural legacy others may in turn built upon" kind of deal.

This social deal has been completely perverted now, with how we'll be all long dead before current group of copyrighted works enters public domain. The protection terms get ridiculously prolonged exactly when the life is getting "faster" and publishing delays or distribution hurdles all but disappearing.

And how much are you willing to bet that the terms won't be prolonged again when Mickey Mouse will be again dangerously close to that scary, scary "PD moment"?

Reply Score: 9

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The great irony of course is that Disney made most their money from out of copyright fairy tales and classical music.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: I am not a fan of the DMCA
by zima on Sun 11th Sep 2011 23:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I am not a fan of the DMCA"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

One recent example is probably more "amusing" in its great irony, and perhaps very revealing about Disney:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lion_King#Story_origin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimba_the_White_Lion#The_Lion_King_con...

It almost seems like they are trying to act as if the original social contract of copyright doesn't apply only to them.

Reply Score: 1

Disappointed, but not surprised
by Alfman on Sun 4th Sep 2011 17:07 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

On US influence drafting foreign policy:

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=30141

"There are three ways in which the occupation intervened in the context of Iraq's constitution-writing process. Firstly, the occupation authorities selected and affected the makeup of the commission that was charged with drafting Iraq's transitional law, and its permanent constitution. Second, the occupation determined the limits and parameters within which the constitution was to be drafted. Third, the occupation authorities intervened directly in order to safeguard its interests in the context of the constitutional negotiations."


About influence on Iraq copyright law specifically:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/04/29/riaas_rosen_writing_iraq_co...

(Yes, I used to read the register)

"Chief executive for the Recording Industry Association of America, Hilary Rosen, is helping draft copyright legislation for the New Iraq, according to investigative journalist Gregory Palast."


The Iraq situation is a little different, the US may feel entitled to dictate Iraq law after having conquered it. But this going on in Canada is sad.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by OSbunny
by OSbunny on Sun 4th Sep 2011 17:08 UTC
OSbunny
Member since:
2009-05-23

This is nothing. My country allows the US to use drones to bomb us anytime they like. The US takes full advantage of this and bombs us at least 3-4 times a week.

Reply Score: 4

Human mess
by zima on Sun 4th Sep 2011 17:27 UTC
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

If a government is messed up, it only makes sense this is reflected in the corporate policies of its prime corporations.

You know, I would argue it's not the only route such influences propagate. The relationships are vastly more complex. Ultimately, systems of governance are also a reflection of their societies... at the least, that's where the people forming the govs come from (from where else?)

And however the "average interviewed passersby" would publicly despise corruption, etc. - given the chance, they would gladly cut out a slice of the cake for themselves, more likely that not. Consider a hypothetical family which openly despises "gov spending waste" ...but with one of its members being, say, an engineer or blue-collar worker involved in some publicly founded project - that particular work will be of course essential, and the price fair. Or a soldier in the family - whatever the exposed systematic abuses or shady reasons for operations, that one man will be always honourable (if the exposed stuff is not simply ignored - it's frightening how large percentages of the troops in Iraq still thought quite recently that the place had anything to do with 9/11...)

I was living some time in one dorm room with somebody from a so called developing country, which at the time was undergoing quite a turmoil (with constant reports in world news TV channels) - supposedly partly because of the widespread corruption; my room mate openly declaring to despise it, blaming it for the poor state of affair in his country.
And there he was, in a far & comfortable place with relatively very high prices of living (funded mostly via how one of his family members was a public official at his place), "studying" (a non-course mostly useless to him in the future, for the paper, cheating whenever he could). With a nice job at one public office essentially awaiting for him, at return.
Oh, did I mention that he also hated corruption?

Many blame govs for recent financial turmoils. Those happened in places where quite a few people are also unable to keep balanced personal budgets, and with staggering rates of living on a debt.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Human mess
by jack_perry on Sun 4th Sep 2011 17:34 UTC in reply to "Human mess"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Right. There's bad, and there's worse. If the US govt is bad, we can at least be grateful that it isn't worse. And we also have the opportunity to change it. Whining because it isn't perfect hardly seems reasonable.

(This is not an excuse to shrug & do nothing, but it is a reminder to keep things in perspective.)

Oddly, the quotes excerpted from the leak seem to imply that Canada was swaying the US, not the reverse -- contradicting the headline. Maybe if I read the linked article, it'll be different.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Human mess
by Alfman on Sun 4th Sep 2011 17:49 UTC in reply to "Human mess"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

zima,

"And however the 'average interviewed passersby' would publicly despise corruption, etc. - given the chance, they would gladly cut out a slice of the cake for themselves, more likely that not."

Interesting perspective. I think there's also an element of self selection going on though. Those who are honest and are not corrupt and genuinely willing to work towards a greater public good may face much larger political resistance than those who are willing to play into the corruption.

So, in my opinion, government is not as clearly a reflection of the public as you indicated.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Human mess
by zima on Sun 4th Sep 2011 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Human mess"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Well I wrote (original emphasis / italics maintained):

not the only route such influences propagate. The relationships are vastly more complex. Ultimately, systems of governance are also a reflection of their societies...

So I'm not quite sure what "government is not as clearly(??) a reflection of the public as you indicated" (emphasis mine) would mean - other than essentially retreating to the popular sentiments of avoiding basically any liability (mental/internal or otherwise) from how we are also very much responsible for the actions of our govs. Escaping to "us vs. them" ("they are the filthy, the guilty, the evil ones")

No, it is us. Also in who we collectively choose to promote to public positions, what traits we cherish there, in the end.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Human mess
by Alfman on Sun 4th Sep 2011 18:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Human mess"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

zima,

"So I'm not quite sure what 'government is not as clearly(??) a reflection of the public as you indicated'"

I meant exactly that, I'm still not sure what the issue is you are taking with my statement? If I misunderstood your view, then I apologize

"No, it is us. Also in who we collectively choose to promote to public positions, what traits we cherish there, in the end."

It still seems to me that you are assuming that corruption in government is purely a reflection of corruption in individuals, without considering that perhaps non-corrupt individuals face more challenges in politics than corrupt ones.

Keep in mind, a dishonest politician has all the maneuvers that an honest politician has, and then some. To the extent that he doesn't miscalculate the risks of his dishonest actions, he has more opportunities than the honest politician, all else being equal.

Edited 2011-09-04 19:07 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Human mess
by zima on Sun 4th Sep 2011 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Human mess"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I stress a complex web of interrelations in societal dynamics. "Govs reflecting their society" being just one of them (but not a bad one to point out specifically, with how wilfully overlooked and/or denied it is typically...), what else the emphasised, more than once, "also" could mean?

[...] non-corrupt individuals face more challenges in politics than corrupt ones. [...] a dishonest politician [...] has more opportunities than the honest politician, all else being equal.

And who allows for such state of affairs? Heck, in moderately functional liberal democracies, who votes in those people? Why the society doesn't care to see enough through the dirty tricks? Why it is... so often wrong in promoting their new mythical honest idol?

Those are our failures.

(oh, and "all else being equal" could just as well mean firm, strict, equal for all enforcement of fair and sustainable rules, of the so called values humans typically declare to cherish...)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Human mess
by Alfman on Sun 4th Sep 2011 20:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Human mess"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

"Why it is... so often wrong in promoting their new mythical honest idol?"

I'm insulted by this notion that honesty is mythical. I try my absolute best to be honest when it comes to my jobs and responsibilities. Despite the fact that I see dishonest people getting ahead of myself, I've remained honest. Perhaps my kind will eventually die off because we're not fit to survive, but I still will cling to the view that honestly is a virtue worth having even if it is a competitive weakness.


"Those are our failures."

To the extent that we have control over them, then sure, but you must be aware that many people over here in the US view the government as a fascist entity acting on behalf of wealthy corporate interests through both parties.

It may be a conspiracy to you, but in their minds, their government does not represent them.

http://newjerseyhills.com/observer-tribune/news/article_7074df6c-f7.....

"Despite the poor national economy, the report found that the personal wealth of members of Congress increased collectively by more than 16 percent between 2008 and 2009. It also showed that 261 congressmen, or nearly half of the membership of the House of Representatives, are millionaires."

The fact is wealth plays a large part in getting representation within government. Regardless of the reasons, government is overwhelmingly composed of wealthy classes who would rather keep pushing corporate interests over us.

I'm an advocate of real democracy, but it's gotta represent the people. What we have today does not.

Edited 2011-09-04 20:54 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Human mess
by MollyC on Mon 5th Sep 2011 09:24 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Human mess"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

...you must be aware that many people over here in the US view the government as a fascist entity acting on behalf of wealthy corporate interests through both parties.


And there are others in the US that think that the government is there just to take from the middle class and the rich and give it to the poor.

I think both sides are whack. Sure, the govt helps corporations when the govt thinks that it is in society's interest to do so, but that's not "fascism". And sure, there's a safety net to help those that are struggling, but that doesn't mean that the govt is stealing from the rich/middle class to give to the poor. The ideologues on both sides are so annoying.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Human mess
by Neolander on Mon 5th Sep 2011 10:19 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Human mess"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

In Sweden, I have met someone who advocated random elections. People are picked randomly in the ID database and designated as part-time leaders of the country. To address things which they don't know, they refer to a public institution of people who work in the field.

This idea makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, though I can't find precise arguments against it, but it would certainly lead to more representative governments.

Edited 2011-09-05 10:22 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Human mess
by Alfman on Mon 5th Sep 2011 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Human mess"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Neolander,

"In Sweden, I have met someone who advocated random elections. People are picked randomly in the ID database and designated as part-time leaders of the country. To address things which they don't know, they refer to a public institution of people who work in the field."

Interesting, however I dislike the fact that this system would not be democratic either.

I've proposed some ideas in the past myself.

1. Rank voting, to address the problem when people end up voting for the candidates most likely to win, rather than those they actually want to win. This one is a no-brainer, but would severely weaken the democratic and republican parties such that I doubt there is sufficient incentive among politicians to fix the problem.


2. Revolving door vote. Instead of voting at distant intervals, a public vote could be recorded for each voter until the person dies or casts a new vote. The majority vote would be tabulated continuously (something like every month). This would have significant ramifications, but the idea is that politicians would have a far greater incentive to listen to the public over their own agenda.


3. Vote directly on issues instead of through politicians. A representative might not follow through on his stated plans. And even if he does, our vote for him doesn't imply endorsement of the full plan. People must vote for the candidate on a restricted set of dimensions (which often turn out to be those promoted by political think tanks). This implies that most dimensions will never see the light of the democratic process, and can even result in elected officials pushing policy which completely contradicts the majority view on them.

4. Domain specific elections. Short of being able to vote on specific issues, maybe it'd be possible to vote in representatives on a finer granularity such that voters can cast a ballot which better reflects their choices.


Of course I've heard some people say that democracy doesn't work in the first place because people are too stupid to make the best choices for themselves without political middlemen. Maybe that's true, but I'd still rather live democratically among a stupid people than live under tyrants who are wise.

Reply Score: 2

Just Desserts
by tchristney on Sun 4th Sep 2011 19:02 UTC
tchristney
Member since:
2005-09-21

As a Canadian, I'm not surprised in the least. Our current government is strongly pro-American, and seem willing to do almost anything to appease them, especially if they can do so without affecting their approval rating. Personally, I think they are selling out our sovereignty. Why? Clearly Harper and his party are getting some sort of benefit from peddling their influence to the Americans, I just wish it was more clear to the average Canadian exactly what those benefits are. I hope it's something more definitive than "good will," because as far as I can tell, that means nothing when push comes to shove.

From the American side, I place no real fault on them. If Canada is offering up this kind of influence, why not take advantage of it? As long as they are staying within the legal boundaries of their own country, I can't blame them.

Do I think it's right? No. Did I vote for this government? No. Did a majority of my fellow Canadians vote for them? Yes. Only by revealing this sort of behaviour will we have any chance of stopping it through the democratic process.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Just Desserts
by ssokolow on Sun 4th Sep 2011 19:50 UTC in reply to "Just Desserts"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Actually, from what I remember, a majority of our fellow Canadians DIDN'T vote for the Conservatives... it's just that the left-wing vote was split between the Liberals and the NDP and the problem was exacerbated by our first-past-the-post voting system which allows the same pattern to occur at the riding level and then bubble up to make the overall result even more out of touch with popular opinion.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Just Desserts
by tchristney on Sun 4th Sep 2011 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Just Desserts"
tchristney Member since:
2005-09-21

Fair enough. I should have said that Canadians elected a Conservative majority. The net effect is identical - we elected this government and now we have to face the consequences.

Personally, I had the pleasure to vote out the Conservative incumbent and vote in the first ever Green Party MP. Neither the Liberals nor the NDP were really an option in my riding.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Just Desserts
by skeezix on Mon 5th Sep 2011 00:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just Desserts"
skeezix Member since:
2006-02-06

Ah! You must've been one of those blessed folks in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding! Thank you, on behalf of all the other Green voters. I was pretty stoked when the results came in.

And on the topic of the post... my poor dear country. This just seems to be the way we're going. More support for the northern tar sands, more support for Big Corporate, etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Just Desserts
by Not2Sure on Mon 5th Sep 2011 07:19 UTC in reply to "Just Desserts"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

Well the good news is that if the economy keeps on going the way it is, Canada will probably be able to buy Alaska or maybe Minnesota soon.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Just Desserts
by gregthecanuck on Mon 5th Sep 2011 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Just Desserts"
gregthecanuck Member since:
2006-05-30

Well the good news is that if the economy keeps on going the way it is, Canada will probably be able to buy Alaska or maybe Minnesota soon.


Actually, we are starting with the banking system first. That should take about another decade to really become noticeable to the average Americanite. After that we will open up a Tim Horton's in all the banks. It's all ours!!! Mwa-hahahahaha....

Reply Score: 1

v Holwerda is a clown
by Not2Sure on Sun 4th Sep 2011 23:38 UTC
RE: Holwerda is a clown
by TechGeek on Mon 5th Sep 2011 02:50 UTC in reply to "Holwerda is a clown"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Boy, you need to take some classes on law. IF I call the police and tell them that I had my phone stolen AND give them the GPS coordinates to the location, I DO NOT get to ride along on the investigation. I also DO NOT have the right to search the suspects house. EVEN IF the owner lets the police in to search, I would NOT be allowed to tag along. What's more, the police would get a warrant which a judge has to sign. Warrants issued are usually publicly disclosed. What the SFPD officers did was completely immoral and an abuse of power, largely because a large corporation which pays lots of taxes wanted to keep things quiet. Corruption in favor of corporate interests is EXACTLY what this case has to do with our government pressuring other countries. While Canada is practically the 51st state, they did the same things to Brazil and Spain.

Edited 2011-09-05 02:51 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Holwerda is a clown
by WorknMan on Mon 5th Sep 2011 03:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Holwerda is a clown"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

What's more, the police would get a warrant which a judge has to sign. Warrants issued are usually publicly disclosed.


Well, they showed up and ASKED if they could search his place. Is that against the law? IMHO, they did it WITH police escorts, so if laws were broken, probably more the fault of the police dept than Apple.

I swear, you guys act like Apple employees showed up at his house, announced themselves as the police (without the police actually being present), kicked down his door, and then ransacked his place while the dude was being restrained. Remember, he GAVE THEM PERMISSION to do the search.

Disclaimer: Before I am labeled an Apple fanboy, I do not own any of their products ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Holwerda is a clown
by Not2Sure on Mon 5th Sep 2011 07:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Holwerda is a clown"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

they did it WITH police escorts


I agree with your comment except that the police, according to their undisputed account, never entered the premises.

It is a rumor or alleged (by some look@me blogger!) that one of the Apple employees involved went to some effort to appear as though he was an active, onduty policeman (pretending to be one by say flashing a badge would be illegal) but then again it is also reported that he gave the owner of the property his Apple business card, so seems like the real story isn't quite clear.

Regardless doesn't involve the police who remained on the sidewalk.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Holwerda is a clown
by TechGeek on Mon 5th Sep 2011 16:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Holwerda is a clown"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

It does involve the police. The police, by being present, lend authority to the proceedings, even if they stay on the side walk. The person who's house was searched knew that at least some of them were police. I don't think its unreasonable to assume that the person wouldn't ordinarily let strangers in to search his house on request. He did it because of the police presence. By being there they become part of the situation whether or not that actively do anything. As police officers, they have a duty to uphold the law. Did they inform the house owner of his right to not be searched? I think its fairly clear they were the muscle and the whole point was to get into the house without a warrant.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Holwerda is a clown
by vitae on Mon 5th Sep 2011 17:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Holwerda is a clown"
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

It does involve the police. The police, by being present, lend authority to the proceedings, even if they stay on the side walk. The person who's house was searched knew that at least some of them were police. I don't think its unreasonable to assume that the person wouldn't ordinarily let strangers in to search his house on request. He did it because of the police presence.



Yep. It really is amazing how casual certain people are about this. Of course the guy should have told them all GTFO, but neither Apple nor the police had a right to be there at all. iPhone missing/been stolen? File a police report or shut the hell up.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Holwerda is a clown
by Not2Sure on Mon 5th Sep 2011 07:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Holwerda is a clown"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

You have no clue wth you're talking about as usual. You have every right to observe police actions in public spaces.

And I have no idea wtf you're yammering on about DO NOT and EVEN IF (ALL CAPS OMG). NEWSFLASH, NO COMPLAINT WAS FILED BY APPLE.

The 4th amendment doesn't apply to private citizens. Evidence obtained even illegally by private citizens doesn't fall under the exclusionary rule (ie, if I break into your house to find my stolen property and deliver what I find to the police, I am most likely guilty of trespass/b&e and you will be convicted of possession of stolen property using the evidence I found). And if you voluntarily let me into your house and I find my stolen property, you are basically a very stupid thief and I have done nothing wrong.

Also your concepts of police "power" and morality are obviously as misinformed as your knowledge of software given your post history. The police according to the so far undisputed facts of the account of these events never entered the private property or even spoke to the owner. They were called to a residence involving a private property dispute and according to so far everyone involved stayed in the street. Do you have some reliable source of information that is contrary? No? Ok, run along. An abuse of police power would be something along the lines of harassing this person by say towing his car because it is 15 inches from the curb repeatedly (an actual offense but when applied capriciously is abusive).

Finally if you want to play along with Holwerda's absurd, nonsensical little make-believe world of right and wrong, good and evil (you know what the rest of us call diplomacy), fine: what exactly did any US official specifically do that you think is "corrupt" or in violation of any law with respect to Canadian law?

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Holwerda is a clown
by buttcoffee on Tue 6th Sep 2011 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Holwerda is a clown"
buttcoffee Member since:
2011-04-05

Boy, perhaps you should take a class is basic law 101. You can ride along with the coppers during the investigation to the location, as a ride-along witness or victim to the crime, dipshit. Actually, it depends on the police department's rules and regulations, but most likely they would.

The cops don't need a warrant when the person gave them consent to search the house. He gave up his 4th amendment right and 5th amendment right away for being dumb enough to talk to the coppers without a lawyer. This is basic stuff everyone should know, even a self-proclaimed law expert like you.

What the SFPD did was perfectly legal and no abuse of power.

Isn't this supposed to be a tech related website?

Reply Score: 1

As a
by benb320 on Mon 5th Sep 2011 13:57 UTC
benb320
Member since:
2010-02-23

As a Canadian I am not surprised at all...

Reply Score: 1

It is really sad.
by jefro on Mon 5th Sep 2011 19:52 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

I feel sad for those that argue such a flimsy excuse that somehow they are not stealing. Sad they argue it is the government that is at fault. Sad that they don't see the harm in their actions. Somehow you feel that an artist or performer or a programmer in some country is somehow not worth your effort to protect. Yet you feel that if you were in their shoes, you should be protected. Why do you feel that others should let you steal? You guys should really consider investing in some ethical and honesty courses.

Copyright laws have been in place for a very long time. Along with many other concepts such as patents, and trademarks and other legal issues such at deeds and marriage certificates and money. Yes, the money you all use is a legal document that is protected. Your arguments would lead me to believe that since I can counterfeit your money legally in one country then that is OK. That I should do it in fact since I disagree with your country. How exactly does that differ? It doesn't face it. Just be honest. You know you are crooks and petty crooks at that if you download stolen works.

To go further, you guys are addicted to this. You need help.

Reply Score: 0

RE: It is really sad.
by Alfman on Mon 5th Sep 2011 21:34 UTC in reply to "It is really sad."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

jefro,

"You guys should really consider investing in some ethical and honesty courses."

Who exactly are you responding to?

If it's my post, then let me point out that there is absolutely nothing dishonest or unethical for a society to evolve in such a way that copying is acceptable. Theft is intrinsically harmful under any conceivable civilization. Copying is not.

If you cannot understand the difference than perhaps it is you who should invest in courses...see what I did there?

"Just be honest. You know you are crooks and petty crooks at that if you download stolen works. To go further, you guys are addicted to this. You need help."

As much as this might disturb you, we are just as honest and hard working as you are, it's just a different philosophy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It is really sad.
by zima on Sun 11th Sep 2011 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE: It is really sad."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Theft is intrinsically harmful under any conceivable civilization.

I think you might find it interesting how even that is not strictly true... even under the cultural sphere shared to a relatively large degree by most people here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stunde_Null#Other_sources_of_food (Fringsen)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Frings#.22fringsen.22 (here, with greater context of his words, it's clear he wasn't quite so forthcoming as suggested by the first link; but a) still, far from "intrinsically harmful" b) it seems like the first meaning is very much present in our collective culture & consciousness, it's easy to accept...)

PS. Yeah, I'm horribly late ;p ...and I think I shouldn't be able to comment by now, anyway; maybe it has something to do with un-hibernating a machine after a few days, one where I started writing this reply and few others (old session, cookie? Either way, it's bound to expire at any moment); might as well do "slow osnews evening" and finish them (maybe, it's late) - including one already long in our main discussion here (where you seem to be offended from seeing one adverb as an adjective; mentioning also popular myths people believe in, which in turn often influence irrational support & voting; no further replies possible but not to worry, you know by now that I keep it on a level, and where to find me)

Edited 2011-09-12 00:08 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: It is really sad.
by TechGeek on Mon 5th Sep 2011 21:50 UTC in reply to "It is really sad."
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Its also really sad that the pact that was made with artists has been distorted and abused in the name of greed. Copyright protection is a two way street, a contract between society and artists. Unfortunately, the artists have become greedy pigs. If they (and you) expect people to respect copyright, then they have to respect it also. Creating laws that bypass our basic freedoms and dictating laws for other societies goes well beyond the power creators are suppose to have under copyright.

Reply Score: 3

RE: It is really sad.
by dragossh on Mon 5th Sep 2011 22:09 UTC in reply to "It is really sad."
dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

Copying is something we've been doing for millions of years now. Humans copied each other's traditions, tools, languages. That's how we evolved. Trying to stop copying is trying to stop a normal thing. You CAN'T stop copying, it's like trying to stop gravity. There'll always be ways to copy something, whether you want it or not.

Copyright is a good idea but, like democracy, it's just something we've implemented and limited ourselves with. Maybe getting rid of it will provide a better society where people's lives aren't destroyed for downloading an album (for non-commercial purposes!!) while big corporations are protected up the wazoo.

Edited 2011-09-05 22:10 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: It is really sad.
by zima on Sun 11th Sep 2011 18:47 UTC in reply to "It is really sad."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Copyright laws have been in place for a very long time. Along with many other concepts such as patents, and trademarks and other legal issues such at deeds and marriage certificates and money


You could be more forthcoming with how you live in a fantasy world...

Copyright has been really around for less than a century, for most of human population. Copyright with ridiculously overblown terms, less than the timespan of an average human life.
That's a blink of an eye in terms of our civilisation. You don't really even mentally differentiate between, say, ancient Mediterranean in 300 vs 200 BC.
(similar with patents or trademarks; and BTW, historically, <em>every</em> upcoming technological powerhouse ignored "intellectual property" rules of its time ...only after establishing itself on the world stage, they tried to push such limitations on possible future competition;
rules governing marriage and money also greatly changing over time)

We're still in a time when this <em>insanely recent</em> concept sways one way or the other; far before its stabilisation. And with a generation who largely understands the web, who grew up on it, coming of age and into politics in a decade or two.

Edited 2011-09-11 18:50 UTC

Reply Score: 1

WikiLeaks cables
by TasnuArakun on Mon 5th Sep 2011 20:48 UTC
TasnuArakun
Member since:
2009-05-24

Pretty much the same thing has been happening in Sweden. Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge just wrote a long blog post about the recent WikiLeaks cables which reveal how the US media industry, via the US Embassy, sent a list of demands to the Swedish Government to strengthen copyright and intensify its battle agains piracy. The government obediently implements all but one of the points while at the same time lying to its people about its intention to try to avoid a public outrage.

The cables which were sent by the US Embassy contain such gems as:

"The GOS [Government of Sweden] struggles, with good intentions, against a very negative media climate and against a vocal youth movement."

and

"The Pirate Bay raid was portrayed as the GOS caving to USG pressure. The delicate situation made it difficult, if not counter-productive, for the Embassy to play a public role on IPR issues. Behind the scenes, the Embassy has worked well with all stakeholders."

http://falkvinge.net/2011/09/05/cable-reveals-extent-of-lapdoggery-...

Reply Score: 3

The problem
by Soulbender on Mon 5th Sep 2011 22:40 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

is not that the US asserts pressure. What did you expect? The problem is that all these dealings takes place under the table and the citizens know nothing about it. It's not like we're talking about national secrets here so the only reason it's secret is because they're unethical dealings that sidesteps the normal processes of democracy. Whatever you may think of wikileaks otherwise, leaking this kind of stuff is a good thing. Well, not for the corrupted officials and companies who make a killing on it but really, who the hell feels sorry for them?

Reply Score: 4